Christmas 2012

Here we are, sitting on the stoep of our rented house in Shelley Point, each with our electronic reading devices. In silence, like old people.

I refuse to apologise, the silence is too precious.

We can hear the waves crashing and our children are strewn across our bed, comatose after 3 days of sun, sand, sea, presents and 24/7 attention.

Over the last few days my thoughts have wandered to how our summer holidays have changed since the children. Our first summer foray away with Daniel to Betty’s Bay was a catastrophe. Terrible weather, couldn’t leave the house for 8 days, I vowed never again.

The next summer I was pregnant with the girls. I spent that holiday floating in a pool. But only just.

Then there was the trip to Arniston with a pram, camp cots, bottles, nappies, dummies and the whole bang shoot. Not to mention a toddler and 2 crawling babies.

Then there was Stilbay. Better only because there were fewer bottles, no camp cots, helping hands and the river. They loved that river, we will definitely go there again.

Then we stayed home and had ourselves a biggass family Christmas at our house. Not a year I remember fondly.

Last year we were also home, but things were looking up.

This year has by far been the best holiday year with the kids. No prams, no nappies. They dress and feed themselves. They wipe their own bums. Those are huge things for a household with 3 kids, trust me.

They chat, they draw, they play with each other. They love to be with us, they are surprisingly helpful, especially Mignon. Daniel is getting some much needed alone time with his Daddy catching fish and us girls go for walks on the beach in the mornings. Isabel is just, well, Isabel, my bright and happy gal. My parents and sister came up for a lovely visit and stayed for Christmas.

I guess I’m feeling a little nostalgic. I’m thinking of the Christmases of my youth. Kimberley in December with my Dad’s parents, long since passed away. My cousins. More Christmas on a farm in Campbell with my other Grandparents, also long gone, with more cousins.

I wonder, what memories are we giving our children? Will they look back fondly at the Christmases of their youth one day? Are we doing enough to make these holidays special so that they sustain them until the next time we can stand still.

As a family.

And exhale.